Common Sense


10 Best Arts Tools for Elementary

Art at the elementary level boosts kids' motor skills, senses, and imagination through singing, painting, dancing, playing, and other enriching artistic and expressive activities. By nurturing kids' artistic abilities and giving them ways to express themselves, kids gain confidence and think in new ways that aid learning more broadly.  To fire up kids' creativity, try these apps and websites that are sure to inspire kids to create and encourage them to keep at it. Choose from apps that focus intently on learning and practicing music, drawing, and storytelling, or have kids explore websites that will expose kids to art history and different styles of expression.

Continue reading

Top Picks


PrintPrint | Save as PDF

Easy Music - Give kids an ear for music

Music-exploration app offers great balance of play and guidance

Bottom line: Great, easily accessible approach to building the foundations for musical literacy.

Artsonia Kids Art Museum

Online art museum empowers students to exhibit, explain their work

Bottom line: A well-loved digital art museum that allows students to share work and reflect on their artistic process while helping teachers assess student understanding of artistic concepts.

My Story School eBook Maker

Sleek platform is a great artistic tool, intro to digital creation

Bottom line: This is a great and accessible option for getting kids telling stories and introducing them to digital creation tools.

Toontastic 3D

Flexible tool hands kids the reins for creative animated storytelling

Bottom line: Despite some lack of variety and simple drawing tools, Toontastic 3D remains a terrific, versatile storytelling tool.

The Robot Factory by Tinybop

Improve designs, collect favorites in robot creation sandbox

Bottom line: A well-made and enjoyable STEM app that leverages what's great about play -- experimentation -- to spark engineering interest.


Whimsical, kid-friendly intro to the wide world of art

Bottom line: A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art.

Scribble Press - Creative Book Maker for Kids

Terrific book creator encourages self-expression for all young writers

Bottom line: A quality way for kids to explore storytelling, illustrating, and publishing.

Wizard School!

Curated videos and creative challenges ignite active learning

Bottom line: There's plenty of material to inspire kids to embark on learning adventures that get them to explore, create, and share safely on the screen and off.

Paper by WeTransfer

Beautifully designed digital sketchbook for any age

Bottom line: The simplicity and effectiveness of the app make this a powerful sketch and note-taking tool for the iPad.

Sketchbook Express

Creation tools hook kids, connect them with global community of artists

Bottom line: Solid resource encourages students to get creative in the classroom.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

See related resources